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Nearshore placement project at Folly Beach proves to be successful, another in the works

Posted on September 5, 2022

The Army Corps of Engineers is working to replenish Folly Beach by using what is called a “nearshore placement” project.

“You would literally walk off the steps and the water would be underneath the steps. There’s no beach at high tide at all, like down by the washout,” says Folly Beach visitor Amy Heaton.

Beach replenishment projects are crucial in protecting beaches and buildings on Folly.

“This will help protect the infrastructure of the homes, the businesses behind the beach, as a protective structural measure,” says Wes Wilson, project manager with the Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston.

One of the ways to replenish beaches is through a project that has worked before.

“The nearshore placement project is a really innovative approach that the Army Corps is taking to utilize sediment that is being dredged for navigation purposes and to keep the boating channels clear, and then take that sand and help to feed the beaches in a different way than traditional beach nourishment,” says Nicole Elko, president of Elko Coastal Consulting.

The last nearshore placement project took place in 2021. The Army Corps of Engineers and City of Folly Beach dredged up 50,000 cubic yards of sand from the Folly River, took it to the northeast end of the beach and dumped it about 200 to 300 yards offshore.

It proved to be successful thanks to the tracer monitoring contract and some colorful markers.

“The contractor used orange and pink dye in some of their sand loads and disposed of it. They sampled it and determined where on the beach those particular deposits landed,” says Wilson.

These placement projects come with a lot of benefits.

“It is known to be a lot more environmentally friendly, too. That’s one of the things we look for. The three “E’s” is engineering, economics and environmental. The economics- that’s cheaper; environmentally more friendly; and the engineering is constructible,” says Wilson.

Another project is already being designed due to the success of the first. It is projected to wrap up by late spring of 2023.

These projects are federally funded.


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